FAQ

We keep this section updated with all the answers to your questions.  Please contact us for more information.

Where are Fibrepac's manufacturing facilities?

The first UK pulping and thermoforming manufacturing site will be located in Lincolnshire, England and will be operational in 2023. More sites are planned for the future.

Where is miscanthus grown?

Miscanthus is grown in several parts of the World including Asia, US, Europe, Norway and across the UK. It has been grown successfully in the UK for over twenty-
five years and most of it today is used to generate energy via biomass power-stations or or animal bedding. A small amount is used for garden screening and BBQ briquettes.

What’s so special about miscanthus?

Being a C4 plant (95% of plants and trees are C3), it is able to absorb CO₂ and produce oxygen through the natural process of photosynthesis, with the help of sunlight and water, whilst retaining CO₂ within the plant. But as a C4 plant, its photosynthesis is more efficient as it has a mechanism to pump more CO₂ in the leaves, allowing it to have a higher level of production, even when water-stressed, unlike C3 plants. Miscanthus is cold weather tolerant compared with sugarcane, which is also a C4, but brings these production benefits to locations such as the UK.

Being a hardy plant, it is able to withstand extreme weather events, wet and dry and can even recover from a field fire because the horizontal root system (rhizomes) are about 15cm below the soil surface.

Miscanthus x Giganteus is a perennial grass and the second fastest growing plant on the Planet. It is sterile and therefore non-invasive so it does not spread uncontrollably, like some strains of bamboo, and can be grown successfully without the need for pesticides or fertiliser. After each annual harvest, the rhizomes remain in the soil and can continue to grow healthily for over thirty years. This saves farmers huge resources in time, fuel and chemicals, whilst keeping soil nutrients and carbon fixed, which creates and maintains healthy soil chemistry and wider biosphere benefits. Waterways are also kept clean because there is no soil run-off leading to downstream diffuse pollution of both chemicals, nitrogen and phosphates.

How much miscanthus is available to make packaging?

Currently about 10,000 tonnes in the UK, 90% of this is managed by ESG Natural Capital and its partners. This will increase to over 100,000 tonnes over the next five years.

What energy source does the manufacturing process use?

Within the Group, we generate biogas from agriwaste using on-site anaerobic digesters. This means that the entire process from field to pack production is carbon-neutral and could, in the future, be carbon negative. The transport of the packaging could also be powered by biogas, but we will have less control over this part of the supply chain.

Does growing miscanthus reduce food production given competition for land use?

No. Miscanthus can grow successfully on poor-grade, marginal land less suited to economic, sustainable food production. It also provides ideal conditions to help promote biodiversity, unlike mono-culture, mass farm agriculture, common in countries like the US, leading to soil erosion, degradation and biosphere collapse. It is also an important contributor to regeneration of soils that have been depleted by intensive agriculture of valuable nutrients, organic matter and carbon. Such depleted soils can be successfully regenerated over a period of 10 years.

What ingredients does Fibrepac contain?

Water salt and miscanthus (elephant grass). 

Where necessary, we add some sizing to increase water and grease resistance, using water-based, natural additives (such as lignin), which are food-safe and non-polluting.

Traceability

As this is wood-free fibre, there is nothing like FSC in place to provide traceability and and therefore provenance. However, we do plan to use the Red Tractor system and a comprehensive ESG-focused approach, which will monitor CO₂e, water usage, social impacts etc.

Does Fibrepac contain PFA’s?

No. One of the founders of Fibrepac, recently published an article on this subject to alert people to the dangers of PFA’s. Here’s a link. We will never use nasty additives or PFA’s. This goes completely against our ethos.